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2023 – Fanny Howe

On June 7, Fanny Howe received our Lifetime Recognition Award at the 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize Readings. Griffin trustee Carolyn Forché paid tribute to this remarkable poet who is “most at home in bewilderment.”

Biography of Fanny Howe

Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1940, Fanny Howe grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and studied at Stanford University. She is a prolific poet, novelist, and essayist who has won multiple awards for her collections of poetry and novels for young adults.

Howe is the author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose. Her collections of poetry include Love and I (2019), The Needle’s Eye (2016), Second Childhood (2014)—a finalist for a U.S. National Book Award in Poetry—Come and See (2011), On the Ground (2004), Gone (2003), Selected Poems (2000)—winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize—Forged (1999), Q (1998), One Crossed Out (1997), O’Clock (1995), and The End (1992).

She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Poetry Foundation, the California Council for the Arts, and the Village Voice, as well as fellowships from the Bunting Institute and the MacDowell Colony. In 2001 and 2005, Howe was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. In 2008, she won an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2009.

A creative writing teacher of note, Howe taught for almost 20 years in Boston at Tufts University, Emerson College, Columbia University, Yale University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before taking a job at the University of California San Diego, where she is Professor Emerita of Writing and Literature. In 2012, she was the inaugural visiting writer in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Her papers are housed at Stanford University. She lives in Massachusetts.

Howe is a poet most at home in bewilderment.

Carolyn Forché
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